2012 Hyundai Veloster

2012 Hyundai Veloster

Don’t ever pour a few drinks into me and get me fired up about modern car design, because it’s simply unfair… for me. There are only so many synonyms for the word “suppository,” and trust me, I’ve used them all. That’s why I appreciate it when automakers take a chance in the sheetmetal department. When Nissan decided to denude the Southwest of peyote and come up with the Murano CrossCabriolet and the Juke, frankly, I applauded that someone pushed those cars past the beancounters and the sour-looking management dudes with ill-fitting toupees (there’s probably some overlap there) to hit a retailer near you. I’ve never had an occasion to wear a disguise and try both of them out, but I’ll admit that in my weaker moments the sheer absurdity of the Juke makes me swoon.
Look, anyone could pen an ugly car. I’m convinced that some of the all-time worst styling offenders were simply the product of the management handing the drafting pen to a doe-eyed young designer, with a cranium swollen with wondrous ideas and all high on endorphins for their chance to design a car that people will actually drive in the real world,  and then clubbing said designer over the head and tracing around a piece of toast. This technique led to several Chysler products.
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is not absurd. Or, at least not in the same class of bonkers as either of those Nissans, but that’s not to say it isn’t as boldly different in other respects. First of all, there’s the asymmetry. Two doors on one side, and one on the other. Obsessive-compulsives may want to avert their eyes, or at least step back and forth through a doorway 35 times before looking closely at this car. In the same vein, grammarians should just ignore the word “coupe” entirely. It’s not worth an aneurism to protest; the world’s moved on, “hella” is rapidly approaching acceptance into the OED, and I have an owl so your argument is invalid.
It only takes a glance to realize the Veloster is different, but how different? Read on to find out.

Work your incredulous eyes elsewhere, and thankfully bilateral symmetry returns in front and rear head-on views. The Veloster’s expressive face wears the same distinctive Fluidic Design language as other new Hyundais, but with an anime twist. There are some mecha elements that are hard to pin down running riot in the look here, with those grille-flanking gills resembling air intakes of the space-faring, transforming, shooting-aliens-with-blaster-cannons variety. It’s like the tender for some Interplanetary Marines’ heavy space-frigate. If you’ve never wondered which characters on Galactica were humans or Toasters, just pretend my last sentence read “it looks vaguely European.”
Following another Veloster through the twisting roads of southern Washington State, “vaguely European” became a mantra of sorts as I annoyed my passenger by trying to figure out what flavor of well-renowned Continental marques the sculpted hindquarters reminded me of. “Alfa!” I’d shout suddenly as we missed an apex and headed towards the surprisingly steep drop-offs at the edge of the pavement. “Lancia!” I barked, “or perhaps Opel!” All this elicited first startled jumps, then shrugs, and eventually glares. Don’t play this game. The rear is chimerical, but ultimately pleasingly unique. It’s a Hyundai that’s not aping anything else.

Thankfully, chassis composure (more on that in a minute) triumphed over mental composure and I never bent any of the Veloster’s sheetmetal more so than it already is. Seriously, the metal creasing machine called and it wants a raise. Those rear fenders have edges that could carve a turkey, and they jut out like a pair of Polynesian outriggers. Frankly, I love it; the rear fascia is like an M.C. Escher design, with scalloped elements paired with raised ones, so there’s always an interesting detail to catch your eye.
Or not: despite Hyundai execs making a big deal of the piano black panel in the lower bumper just above the central dual exhaust tips, I hardly noticed it. It looks nice, sure, when it was finally pointed out to me, but it didn’t catch my eye. That rear panel is certainly the exception, as the Veloster drew sly side-glances in too-cool-for-school Portland, and near-universal praise from anyone queried. And if “styling” isn’t very high up on your shopping list, I’m sure another automaker is happy to make you a nice slice of toast.

Let’s move inside, shall we? Pick a door, any of the three. If you’ve chosen either of the fronts, you’ll find that the cockpit is really a very pleasant place to be. Controls fall right to hand, adjustments are straightforward, and the seats are comfortable if not memorably so. Unlike a lot of Asian cars, I don’t recall half of my thighs hanging off the front of the seat. While that usually has the effect of making me feel 7’ tall like in so many of my junior high fantasies, it’s not very comfortable. Not a problem here. Let’s move on to an actual problem—for a car with this personality, you want to hang your arm out the window. But you can’t, because the BELTLINE IS TOO DAMN HIGH. Look, aside from the throwaway joke, it was honestly disappointing.

Here’s the interesting part, though: generally, a high beltline means you’re going to get sightlines that make a pillbox look panoramic. The Veloster, with that coupe-like roofline and split rear hatch, must be something only Mr. Magoo could appreciate, right? Nope. While it wasn’t exactly a bubble canopy a la the F-16, big side view mirrors and well-place rear quarter windows meant changing lanes wasn’t an exercise in finding religion. And while I found Hyundai’s claim that with the blacked-out A-pillars the front resembled the visor of a motorcycle helmet a bit of a stretch, both driver and passenger got a great view forward, upward, and to the sides. Perfect for watching long stretches of the American landscape scroll by like so much projected movie scenery.
From the rear seat, you won’t see much of anything except a projection of the crick in your neck you’re going to get from the low roofline. It’s fine for short jaunts or children, but average-size adults will appreciate the independently-opening rear door as a fine way to uncoil themselves from their claustrophobic confines.
I spent most of my time in Oregon in a manual-equipped Veloster, and while Hyundai only expects a 30% take rate on the manuals, I think it could be competently operated by a mannequin. Breathe on the gearshift at the right angle and it’ll slot effortlessly into the gear your reptilian brain was instinctively aiming for. Sixth is on a bit of a dogleg, so it take a slightly more circular throw to get it to slot home, but for the interesting combination of accuracy and ease of use, this transmission stands out. Is it sporty? The gearing isn’t bad for the purpose at hand, but I’d be hard-pressed to call my time spent rowing the box forward and back “sporty.” But with a light clutch engagement and light shifter action, something else will give many hours before your right hand and left leg wear out. Probably your bladder.

A mild criticism is in order here. Along with the ease of use comes a bit of a disconnect, in terms of the feel of the switchgear. Not the steering—the variable, electrically-assisted rack was perfectly weighted at speeds, and I quite enjoyed it. As for the rest, the best description I could come up with was that it was a little like playing a video game using peripheral pedals and a shifter. It almost felt like a simulation of using the switchgear. It wasn’t unpleasant, just disconcerting.
I’ll be perfectly blunt: unless you’re physically incapable of operating a manual transmission, save the few hundred dollars and skip the EcoShift DCT—the manual is so low-effort to operate you’ll hardly notice the difference, and unless your leg operates as an on-off switch your clutch engagement will be less jerky at low speeds than the DCT. The traditional automatic in the Elantra is much more competent and at least as sporty-feeling, which is to say not a ton. And the tiny paddles on the steering wheel, while well positioned, might have been rejects from the Acme Poorly Injection-Molded Budget Plastics Corporation, with obnoxious ridges and flashing that were frankly uncomfortable to use. Compared to the very high level of fit, finish, and materials quality of the rest of the car, it was jarring to lay a finger on them. I left the DCT in “drive” for the rest of my short jaunt and limped the shuddering car home.

Every Veloster comes with a 7″ touchscreen paired to a pretty feature-packed audio system, that sounded nice and, in terms of audio levels and balance, was easy to tweak. You also get Pandora connectivity (if you pair an iPhone via Bluetooth), Gracenote voice recognition, video playback capability, and a pair of green driving games/aids. Pony up a bit more and you’ll get more speakers and a fairly infuriating navigation system. Well, honestly I consider most navigation systems to be rather infuriating (I’ll take a Thomas Guide, thanks!), but the balky and slightly unintuitive nav on the Veloster made us want to explore meditation and breathing techniques. Likewise the ideosyncracies of the aux-in iPod controls, which always started playing the first song alphabetically in the playlist (that’s apparently how it’s supposed to work, as maddening as it was the 12th time it happened). At this price point, I don’t expect perfection, but as a person who prefers to rock out to MP3s on the road this was frustrating. Hopefully a software update makes things a little more copacetic here, but I think most users will shrug slightly and deal, considering that the infotainment system is still feature-rich and relatively inexpensive.
So the sound system pumps up the volume, but from under the hood, nearly nary a noise. My driving partner and I both like to shift by ear, and the remarkably quiet Veloster frustrated our efforts by being too Lexus-ish. Therefore, we winked, nodded, and then proceeded to befuddle our adorably concerned Hyundai friends by posting up on a gravel patch, popping the hood, and fiddling with the bits in the compartment that covered up the 1.6-liter, direct-injection, dual continually variable valve timing, electronically-throttled … hold on, my fingers need a breather … engine. It’s full of technology and also covered with a large piece of injection-molded plastic that prevented either of us from seeing if, in actuality, the cam cover looked vaguely like an Offy, as it sort of did from the side. A shrug and a tug, and we were holding the cover in our hands. It just pops off to reveal the sound insulation on its underside. Sure, the direct-injection hardware makes some strange noises and it’s not surprising that Hyundai wanted to mellow out the harsh, but for added PAH! and a noticeable increase in engine volume, this is a simple and eminently reversible change.
Sound aside, the motor does its job very well, like the inverse of one of Kafka’s nameless bureaucrats. It provides enough juice for pretty much every legal velocity we cared to explore and quite a few that probably weren’t. The Veloster is light—just a hair over 2,500 lbs.—and 138 horsepower is an adequate figure. It would be more adequate if the Veloster’s chassis wasn’t so damn good.
Huh? Lemme explain: this chassis, this composed, thoroughly competent and confident chassis, is begging for more power like a junkie craves junk. Beautifully neutral for a front-driver, and with a confidence-inspiring sense of heft and grip, if you closed your eyes (our cut-rate lawyers strongly advise you not to actually do this) you might think you were driving a European car. Ride quality and composure over a variety of road surfaces was excellent – really, approaching the feel of a much more expensive vehicle. Anyone who’s spent time in a German-market Opel or VW will know what I mean about the sense of solidity or weight. So while the Veloster is in no way underpowered, it’s clear that we weren’t approaching the limits of what the chassis was capable of.
To be clear, Hyundai brass were quite coy about the prospect of more power trickling down to this car. Could it happen? Maybe. If you want to bribe a Hyundai engineer and tell me what you find out, go for it, but on a writer’s salary my only contribution to the bribe kitty would be $0.38 in grimy change and this stale bagel I’ve been softening in stale coffee.

As I’m gumming this final morsel of toroidal sustenance, I’ll wrap up with what I’d pitch the Veloster as. It’s not really a sport coupe, either dynamically or grammatically. Nor is it an economy car, although the 40 MPG freeway claim (not independently verified) is promising. It does eat up miles and windy roads at high speeds rather effortlessly, and with the huge sunroof open and the windows down, it was a pleasant way to cover a good deal of both banks of the mighty Columbia River for several hours.
This is, in fact, a budget grand touring car.
Well-built and attractively priced, I think it’s a good choice for a lot of folks I know, actually. There’s my buddy who does an L.A.-to-San Francisco run about once a week in a Mazda3—he’d appreciate this car, perhaps more than his own. There’s my road-tripping friend winding around North America on a well-deserved several months off work to celebrate his 30th birthday—this would be the perfect car for his offbeat sensibilities. As for my friends who run trackdays, this probably isn’t the car for them. Will it be the car for your hip urban lifestyle? The salvation for the teeming multitudes yearning to roadtrip freely? Or is it a competent car begging for more power? I don’t have any answers, I just call ’em like I see ’em. And this coffee’s not getting any fresher.
Baring it all: Hyundai sprung for this Hoon to fly to Portland to drive the Veloster, plying him with beverages, food, and concerts and then attempting to kill him by making him watch a University of Oregon football game in 90+ degree heat. Consider the perks to have cancelled each other out then.

By |2011-09-18T21:01:23+00:00September 18th, 2011|Hyundai Reviews, Reviews, Road Test Reviews|66 Comments

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  1. yellofury September 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    The Veloster is the first Hyundai I have lusted after. Even more so than the Genesis coupe. It looks funky but I love the CRX style bi level backlight. (At least I didn't say AZTEK style)
    This is a great compromise to a commuter car since it still gets great gas mileage and it looks like a hoot to drive too
    Ill take mine in arrest me red please

    • yellofury September 19, 2011 at 1:30 am - Reply

      [youtube jN7fzifIIvY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN7fzifIIvY youtube]

    • JoeDunlap September 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      Not eye-searing enough. Make mine "arrest me and throw away the key, cause Stevie Wonder can see this car" red. 🙂
      And BTW, with all the talk about 1 door on the driver side and two on the passenger, why not even one pic of the passenger side?

  2. Maymar September 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    I have a friend who's practically salivating at the possibility of Hyundai's 2.0T being dropped in this. Me, I'd be content with the excellent naturally aspirated GDI I4.
    It is a cool little car though. The third door means I could actually consider it once the lease is up on the Civic. I mean, I'll be close enough to having kids at that point that my first choice is still that of our fearless leader (the Mazda5), but as a last stab at pretending I have some coolness to grasp on to, I could do worse than a Veloster. Or I could just keep the Civic.

    • yellofury September 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Is it a sedan or coupe Civic? All I know is that Hondas run forever even when they are treated like dirt. My brother's 98 Civic DX coupe has had a free fall on it, ran into a tree, failed O2 sensors and the sucker still takes him to work and back to this day..
      I hear you though the wife and I just had a baby and right now all we have is a Maxima
      We got rid of our tiny but OMG fuel efficient Suzuki Swift.
      If we had the choice we would go full on Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey
      with a smaller economical commuter type car for me (Nissan Cube, Veloster, Versa sedan which i dont really want)

      • Maymar September 19, 2011 at 8:38 am - Reply

        The Civic's a sedan. The logical choice is to keep it, since I know it's received more than the required maintenance. But we'll see if my fiancee's willing to live with a car that's got both a 5-speed and that sloping front end. I suppose we'll also need to see where we're living, if we can justify two cars or not.

  3. Eggwich James Dio September 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Interesting car, and a well-written review. I'm curious to know how much power it actually has, but I suppose I could look that up. I'd like to see a picture of the passenger-side so I could see the third door, too. I would also like someone to make me breakfast tomorrow.

  4. dead_elvis September 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    That white stripe suggests nothing more strongly than "Gremlin". I can't unsee it now.
    Not that I'm complaining, mind you (but I am complaining about "aneurism" – it's aneurysm).

    • Deartháir September 18, 2011 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      HOW DARE YOU, SIR. Besmirching the good name of the Gremlin! I demand satisfaction!
      ::very slowly and deliberately removes glove, flips neatly in hand, winds up, slaps you across the face, and tosses the glove at your feet::

      • dead_elvis September 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm - Reply

        I fear you misunderstand – the Gremlin shines so brightly as to obliterate all traces of this asymmetric Korean … thing. Who will remember the Veloster 30+ years hence?
        Don't have an "aneurism".

        • skitter September 19, 2011 at 7:07 am - Reply

          I think the same people who appreciate the Gremlin now will do well to recognize the Velostar and Juke as future classics.

          • Deartháir September 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

            ::very slowly and deliberately removes glove, flips neatly in hand, winds up, slaps you across the face, and tosses the glove at your feet::

          • skitter September 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

            Good choice on the weapon; I'm a terrible throw, and easily distracted by shiny things.
            <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/pistole.jpg"&gt;

          • mdharrell September 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

            Okay, that one took some digging:
            George III, by Grace of God King of Britain, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Arch-Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire

          • dead_elvis September 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

            I was beginning to think it was a Canadian spelling for "pistols".

          • mdharrell September 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm

            I think Deartháir got confused because Canadian doesn't have that word in the first place.

          • ZomBee Racer September 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm

            With any luck I will be dead by then.

          • mdharrell September 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

            I suppose it would be something of a mixed message to give you a +1 for that comment.

    • Rockford_Brodie September 20, 2011 at 12:19 am - Reply

      The real question is: Can you order a Veloster with Levi's upholstery?

  5. Deartháir September 18, 2011 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    I think I'm alone in my opinion on this car. I keep hearing people tell me it's attractive, it's desirable, and they lust after it. I've seen it quite a few times in person now, up close and in the flesh. I've circled around it, I've poked at it, prodded at it, and examined it from every angle, trying to find that beauty of which you speak.
    I can't find it anywhere. It just looks awkward and ugly.
    Look, I like designers taking chances as much as anyone. I'm always encouraged to see that, and to see companies experimenting and taking risks. But similar to the face of the Juke, can we please, for the sweet love of fuck, have some designers take risks that aren't goddamned ugly? This car to me looks like it's been beaten with the grade-school-awkward stick, and I just can't feel any love for it at all.

    • Eggwich James Dio September 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      The Juke is cool!
      There, I said it aloud. Nice to have that off my chest.
      Especially in brown.

    • Alff September 19, 2011 at 2:48 am - Reply

      You are not alone. I'm vacillating between "Meh", "Feh" and "Bleh".

      • Adamskiy September 19, 2011 at 3:48 am - Reply

        Verbalization of my thoughts exactly.

    • tonyola September 19, 2011 at 5:33 am - Reply

      I don't like the front end very much. Too high, too much gaping mouth, and those slashes below the headlights aren't attractive. I miss low noses on cars, but I suppose we have the European pedestrian safety standards to blame. The rest of the car isn't bad, though I'd leave off the Gremlin stripe.

      • FuzzyPlushroom September 19, 2011 at 7:39 am - Reply

        I wouldn't have it without the stripe. It doesn't have the same mediocre-sedan-minus-posterior vibe as the Gremlin, but it was clearly influenced by it. I'm not keen on the enormous C-pillars, but they seem to be a given nowadays – witness the equally ugly and far blander Matrix.

        • Tanshanomi September 19, 2011 at 8:17 am - Reply

          I would have to have the stripe, assuming it's the same shape on both sides of the car, only to downplay the bizarre coupe-from-one-side/sedan-from-the-other asymmetry.

        • Devin September 19, 2011 at 10:06 am - Reply

          As someone whose driveway contains a Matrix, which I am considering replacing with a Veloster, I'm not sure I appreciate that.
          Though the Matrix is only attractive in white it's really not that bland. People just think it's bland because of the little man in a sombrero parked on the hood and the assorted internet-fueled assumptions about cars that bear it. I actually was resistant to even test driving it because of those internet-fueled assumptions, and then happily bought one after doing so, for it was way better than people say it is.

          • FuzzyPlushroom September 19, 2011 at 10:20 am

            It's better than the Corolla it's based on. I genuinely dislike the Corolla, but my distaste for the Matrix is mostly due to its enormous C-pillars (why?) and eternal lack of AWD with a stick (double why?). Wagons (hatches? crossovers? What IS it?) make everything better. Oh, and selling the base model with those dinky, usually-improperly-centered hubcaps should have been a crime, but I digress.
            Compared to a sporting, low-slung two-and-a-half-door coupehatchthing, though, the non-XRS Matrix is a pretty bland thing, for better or worse. Of course, comparatively, an old Volvo is hardly sporting, either, 'TURBO' badge notwithstanding. Both a Volvo wagon and a Matrix, though, will hold a big shaggy dog better than a Veloster will, so it's all priorities.

    • Number_Six September 19, 2011 at 5:53 am - Reply

      It's no beauty queen but I'd rather see a million of these on the road than another goddam Cavalier Z-22 or Cobalt with a dickwing on the back.

      • Deartháir September 19, 2011 at 10:05 am - Reply

        I suspect that in 4 years, these will BE the Cobalts and Cavaliers with dickwings on the back.

        • FuzzyPlushroom September 19, 2011 at 10:22 am - Reply

          In that context, this comes to mind.

        • Number_Six September 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm - Reply

          And in 4 years we'll still be 20 years less sick of seeing them than we are of seeing Cavaliers.

    • BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ September 19, 2011 at 7:20 am - Reply

      I see Bangle influences, too much edges, and IMO that´s not a compliment.

  6. BlackIce_GTS September 19, 2011 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Oh, what? You still do this? I thought the old boys club had got you shunned.
    On 'vaguely European', the front end reminded me of this:
    <img src="http://news.drive.ge/uploads/images/citroen/gt/citroen_gt_1.jpg"&gt;
    I don't know about the back end. SEAT maybe, but I can't find the one I might be thinking of.

  7. suju89 September 19, 2011 at 6:23 am - Reply

    However hard it is to admit, there isn't a whole lot coming out of Hyundai-Kia at the moment that I don't like.

  8. sport_wagon September 19, 2011 at 6:24 am - Reply

    I really dig it, '70s stripe and all. However I still have my eyes on a R53 MINI Cooper S. The Depreciation Devil has made them very affordable. In that context, the Veloster becomes less appealing . . .
    <img src="http://img.netcarshow.com/Mini-Cooper_S_2004_1600x1200_wallpaper_01.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • yellofury September 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      same here except I need more than 2 doors for the kid's car seat. As far as drivability the MINI would be more fun the only other car that may be fun would be a Honda Fit but they are pricy even used.

  9. P161911 September 19, 2011 at 6:25 am - Reply

    You mentioned the Murano CrossCabroliet, it took me several moths to realize that thing wasn't a bad April Fool's joke by Nissan. I'm pretty sure it first popped up right about April 1.

  10. muthalovin September 19, 2011 at 7:01 am - Reply

    So, I thought I read this thoroughly, but MSRP? Option prices?

    • skitter September 19, 2011 at 7:12 am - Reply

      I don't mean to be rude to any party, but facts and figures generally give reviews the uniformity of astroturf. When they're not driving an opinion, I'd rather see them left out, especially since they can be looked up so easily.

    • Guest September 27, 2011 at 11:56 am - Reply

      $18,000 – $23,000 depending of if you want base / style package / technology package.

  11. mdharrell September 19, 2011 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Go Ducks!
    [Contractual obligation now fulfilled.]

  12. TurboBrick September 19, 2011 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I could see this being my commuter vehicle, and I could take the family with me without too much trouble as the extra door gives me the ability to deal with a car seat easily. I don't think a hi-po version really is what the market needs, I think they're doing the right thing by offering a high-mileage version to start out with. Same thing as with the original Excel-based Scoupe, it's not supposed to be a sports car, it's supposed to be an economy car that doesn't look like one. It's not classically attractive, but it doesn't give me the same gag reflex as Nissan's eccentric designs. It reminds me of a cross between a CRX and a Datsun 120A coupe:
    <img src="http://www.autowallpaper.de/Wallpaper/Nissan/Datsun-Nissan-Cherry/bilder/Datsun-%20Cherry-Coupe-120A-1973.jpg&quot; WIDTH="500">

  13. dwegmull September 19, 2011 at 8:01 am - Reply

    It will be interesting to see what the "kids" and after market suppliers do with this intriguing car… Great review, by the way!

  14. Tanshanomi September 19, 2011 at 8:31 am - Reply

    I noticed all the side-view photos show the driver's side exclusively, so let me just point out one thing y'all might have missed: IT'S A FREAKIN' 3-DOOR HALIBUT! I must be more OCD than I realize, but I can't get past the asymmetry. Now, I don't have a problem with the extra door seam on the Saturn or RX-8, or countless 3-door pickup trucks, But the Veloster looks like it has sedan and coupe versions, and some guy on the line did a Johnny Cash with a mishmash of parts from the factory. It's just too odd. Really, Hyundai, did you really have to move the whole B-pillar? …AND change the angle of inclination?
    With all the Gremlin comparisons in the comments, I'm thinking the Pacer's differing door lengths make a better comparison. Although, (and I think this is the first time any human has had the occasion to use this phrase), the Pacer's implementation of this design element was much more timid.
    The Veloster would be dead sexy as a two door and reasonably appealing as a four-door. As it is, it ranks much lower than either in it's current guise.
    <img src="http://newcarstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Hyundai-Veloster-2012-Side-View.jpg&quot; width="360">
    <img src="http://lancangcar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2012-Hyundai-Veloster-Coupe-Side-View-e12967002908791.jpg&quot; width="360">

    • P.Frere September 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Is there any truth to the rumor that the original name of this model was VELOBSTER? It would certainly explain the styling.

  15. MrHowser September 19, 2011 at 9:46 am - Reply

    It might be strange-looking, but it's not available in beige. +1 for that. It IS available in honest-to-God yellow. + another 1 for that.

  16. Ol' Shel' September 19, 2011 at 11:43 am - Reply

    The styling is going to hold this one back. It's not cute or quirky or absurdly aggressive. Just odd.
    Is it just me or do all the Hyundai grills look just a bit like the mouth of the alien in 'Alien'? As if something bad is about to come out?
    Off-putting, at the least.

  17. Rust-MyEnemy September 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I see a bit of this around the front end.
    <img src="http://www.futurevehicleleasing.co.uk/Assets/Images/Cars/Citroen/2011-citroen-ds3-car-picture.jpg&quot; width=450>
    The Citroen DS3, which is winning considerable plaudits in Europe as the best Citroen for a good while. Personally, when they say that, I reckon they mean "best at being a car", not "best at being a Citroen". But I digress.
    Haven't we been waiting since the early nineties for Korean cars to get some kind of cohesive design direction going on? I know Kia and Hyundai have released countless imaginative concept cars, all totally unrelated to each other, but they rarely manifest themselves in the products that end up on our roads. With the Veloster we've ended up with a car that ended up on the road but should have been left as a concept.
    I thought, when the Genesis came out, this is it; they've cracked it. And yet no, they had to start on the mushrooms again.

    • FuzzyPlushroom September 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      My only real fault with it is that the Veloster should have been a Kia. Weren't Kias supposed be small and sporting and Hyundais more upscale and family-carrying? This is soundly in the former category and yet wears the italic H. (That said, at least to my ears and eyes, Kia is just a cut-rate Hyundai – I'd buy a Hyundai without pause but for some inexplicable reason I'd have second thoughts over a Kia, even knowing their quality is comparable. Maybe that mental association is part of their apparent dual-brand philosophy? Even so, I'd be afraid of them turning into another Mercury or Pontiac.)

      • Rust-MyEnemy September 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm - Reply

        I'm with you, there. No matter how good the Euro Kia Soul, Venga, Sportage and Cee'd may be, I still can't bleach the memories of the original Rio out of my mind.
        Hyundai, though, have always been awesome. Any company who sold a scaled down cut-price Mk III Quattroporte is OK with me.
        <img src="http://www.autominded.net/brochure/hyundai/Stellar%2019890203.jpg&quot; width=500>

        • FuzzyPlushroom September 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm - Reply

          It's actually called the Venga?
          [youtube 6Zbi0XmGtMw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zbi0XmGtMw youtube]
          It looks familiar, though…
          <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/58/2nd_generation_Honda_Fit.jpg/800px-2nd_generation_Honda_Fit.jpg&quot; width=600>
          <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/Kia_Venga_CRDi_Vision_Continentalsilber.JPG/800px-Kia_Venga_CRDi_Vision_Continentalsilber.JPG&quot; width=600>
          Anyway, I want a Stellar, if only for the nameplate. Hyundai's first product here was the execrable Excel (and, apparently, its badge-engineered Mitsubishi Precis twin), followed by the Sonata and Elantra, while Kia contributed the Ford-badged Festiva, which was superior in most ways to its Aspire successor. Aspire, how's that for a name? You Aspire to own a real car, right? It's right there with the Oldsmobile Achieva, which signifies that you've Achieved approximately bugger-all… but I digress.

          • Devin September 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

            To be fair though, there are only so many ways to put a headlight on a dinner roll. Once you put all the various requirements of such a thing into the calculator everything in that class will inevitably look really similar (which they do).

          • Maymar September 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm

            Since Hyundai manufactured in Canada for a couple years in the early 90s, they had a parts plant near where I currently work. It actually sits at the intersection of Stellar Lane and Pony Drive.

          • Rust-MyEnemy September 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

            Our first Hyundai here was the appropriately named Pony, as in complete pile of. The Kia Pride, though (Your Ford Festiva) was famous for coming with whitewall tyres from the factory. The pensioners loved it. We got the Aspire as a Mazda 323 3-Door, looking like a bizzarely stunted version of the 323F / Lantis 5-door hatch. I don't know anybody who either owned, or knew anybody who had owned one. But then, they were so dull you'd probably forget if you had.

          • Devin September 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

            There actually was an Aspire nearish my house for a while. It was pink, though the person who owned it once had one of those car bra things and the paint faded spectacularly so it was two shades of pink. Also, the taillights were filled with water. Then I moved and a few blocks away from my new house there was another faded pink Aspire, which didn't have the bra effect but still had the water filled taillights, which is such a weird problem to be super common. I haven't seen that Aspire in a very long time. Finally, my cousin had a blue one, but someone stole it and started it on fire.
            So they're memorable to me, mostly because they're either pink or on fire.

          • Rust-MyEnemy September 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm

            In either condition; "Motivated seller"!

          • Devin September 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

            "For Sale, 1996 Ford Aspire. Racy flames. Non-smoker. This one won't last long!"

          • Number_Six September 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm

            I saw a Pony in Vancouver two months ago! It looked to be in excellent condition. They were sold here in Canuckistan circa 1985 – I drove them plenty back then and confirm that they would in fact move you from point A to point B. For about six months. Then it was time for a new one.

  18. smokyburnout September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    One of the few new cars that really interests me! I would agree that it needs more PAH!, and I know just who can give it that…
    <img src="http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0066/9592/files/x20_grande.jpg"&gt;
    IMG from Rhys Millen Racing

  19. Lotte September 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    I think the people who end up buying this would have a sense of humour. Like Aztek buyers.
    It's interesting and I (kinda) want one! I can't wait to sit in one at the auto show, though usually high beltlines kill it for me.

  20. salguod September 20, 2011 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Why did Hyundai have to stop by at Pep Boys and get that horrible stripe kit before letting you drive it? I love the Veloster, but those stripes are hideous.

  21. AMCRules! September 21, 2011 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Anyone else catch "velo"- French for bicycle. Intentional by Hyundai, or just incidental?

    • Guest September 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      totally intentional….. the designers took a lot of design cues from a motorcycle…. or so they say.

  22. Nikki Parkins November 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    I will surely wait for it's car show! But if my budget runs out i'll have pre owned hyundai – for now.

  23. Elyse N. February 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I bought my Veloster in September and I absolutely love it! I fell in love with a red one but ended up with a white one with the upgraded tech package. I love the color of this blue one but not the stripe. I was considering getting a stripe to liven up the white but I imagined something a little sleeker and more fluid. Having had the car for nearly 5 months, I can honestly tell you that I have never owned a car that has generated so much attention. At least once or twice a week someone stops to ask me what kind of car it is and to compliment the sporty, (even if it is a little on the quirky side), fun and several people have called it "sexy" or "hot". "Hot " was the word that came to my mind when I fell in love at first sight. I still wish mine was red and the only other thing that I would change is the pale gray cloth seats to leather. My favorite aspects of the car are the panoramic sunroof , great sound system and how much fun it is to drive. I highly recommend this vehicle.

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